Noon on the Vernal Equinox

  The vernal equinox is March 20. Spring begins for the northern hemisphere at the precise moment when the Sun is centered on the celestial equator, zero degrees in declination, the midpoint between the north and south celestial poles. Every location in the world will experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime…. except the North and South… Continue reading

PI Day

  PI DAY for the 21st century is Saturday, March 14, 2015! Celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event with all your fellow math geeks, engine-nerds and science wienies! You can bet that, here at Classical Astronomy, we’re gonna party like it’s 1999! Also, you get special geek bonus points if you’re staring at the clock at 9:26:53 AM, to experience the precise… Continue reading

The Sun During March

  Due to the Earth’s annual revolution, the line of sight between the Sun and the background constellations is constantly changing. This appears as the Sun moving east through the constellations of the zodiac. During March, the Sun appears to be moving from the constellation Aquarius to Pisces. In the process, the Sun crosses the celestial equator, an invisible circle… Continue reading

Light Pollution

  “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God.” – Psalm 19:1a This verse is inscribed on the gable of the “pink clubhouse” at Stellafane in Springfield, Vermont, the birthplace of modern-day amateur astronomy. However, the night sky does not appear very glorious if it is spoiled by light pollution… the collective glow of ground lighting, scattered upwards onto the sky.… Continue reading

Sizes of Earth and the Sun

  We always hear of “astronomically large numbers,” but who can really wrap their brains around these concepts? Curious people wonder how do scientists arrive at such numbers…. Finding the distance to Venus is easy. Anyone can visually measure Venus’ maximum elongation. If you then draw a right triangle and crunch a couple numbers on a calculator, you can quickly… Continue reading

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